1989 Vancouver ’86ers (M)
The Vancouver ‘86ers were a powerhouse soccer team that in 1989 set a North American sports record on their way to a Canadian Soccer League championship.
The 1988 edition of the ’86ers had won the CSL title and when the 1989 campaign began the team kept winning. Over two seasons, from June 5th, 1988 to August 8th, 1989, the team remained undefeated in 46 games (37 wins and nine ties). They eclipsed the Canadian pro sports record set by the 1978-79 Montreal Canadiens (28), the North American standard established by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers (36) and even Nottingham Forest’s English soccer record of 42 unbeaten games.
Head coach Bob Lenarduzzi had an all-star line-up that included captain John Catliff, Domenic Mobilio, Dale Mitchell, Carl Valentine, and Steve MacDonald.
The team’s historic winning streak finally ended with a loss in Edmonton, but the ’86ers finished the regular season with eighteen wins, six ties and only two losses. Vancouver stormed into the playoffs, winning the Western Division championship. In the CSL title game at Swangard Stadium before a record crowd of almost 8,000 fans, the ’86ers won the league championship with a 3-2 victory over the Hamilton Steelers.
Gary Aujla, Rob Aujla, Ivano Belfiore, Sven Bermann, Cam Bowman, John Catliff, Jim Easton, Alan Errington (assistant coach), Ivor Evans, Dr. Don Hedges (doctor), Greg Ion, Mark Karpun, John Paul Knesevic, Bob Lenarduzzi (head coach), Jamie Lowery, Shaun Lowther, Jock MacDonald (equipment manager), Steve MacDonald, Carlo Marini, Alex McKechnie (physiotherapist), Doug McKinty, Rob Merkl, Dale Mitchell, Domenic Mobilio, Lou Moro (trainer), George Mrsic, Doug Muirhead, Sam Saundh, Dan Sudeyko, Guido Titotto, Carl Valentine, Neil Wilkinson, Gregor Young.